Bhangra vs Bollywood: Difference and Comparison

Different cultures showcase or represent different dance styles.

The art of dance has several forms, like classical, hip hop, contemporary, salsa, freestyle, Bihu, jazz, etc. Apart from these dance forms, Bhangra and Bollywood are pretty renowned ones too.

All these dance forms represent different cultures, traditions, and origins.

Key Takeaways

  1. Bhangra is a traditional Punjabi folk dance, while Bollywood refers to popular Indian cinema and its associated dance styles.
  2. Bhangra features energetic movements and upbeat music, while Bollywood dance incorporates various styles and influences.
  3. Bollywood dance includes elements of Bhangra, but it is not limited to this traditional form.

Bhangra vs Bollywood

The difference between bhangra and Bollywood is that the former is a traditional folk dance that originated in Punjab (North West of India),. On the other hand, the latter is a mixture of various dance styles (jazz, kathak, hip-hop, brake, ballet, tango, etc.) that originated in the northern part of India.

Bhangra vs Bollywood

Bhangra is a folk dance traditionally celebrated in Punjab and some parts of Pakistan with energy and enthusiasm. It also refers to a folk music style in Punjab.

The dance form or style is majorly celebrated during Vaisakhi (it is referred to as the Sikh new year festival).

Bollywood dance style or form was initially introduced in Bombay or Mumbai, India.

This dance style includes jazz, hip-hop, kathak, bhangra, tango, salsa, etc. Initially, the Bollywood dance style was influenced by traditional, classical, and folk dance styles, but later on, this style of dance started getting influenced by disco moves.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonBhangraBollywood
OriginBollywood dance is a mix or fusion of several dance styles or forms. Bombay (also called Mumbai) is the origin of the Bollywood dance style.
  Places Famous InBhangra is quite famous in the North-Western part of India and the North-Eastern part of Pakistan.Bollywood is popular in Asian countries and the Middle East.
Year Of EstablishmentBhangra initially originated in the 1940s. Bollywood initially originated in the 20th century.
SignificanceBhangra is a Punjabi traditional folk dance style.Some of the famous and popular Bollywood dancers and artists are:
•Madhuri Dixit
•Tiger Shroff 
•Hrithik Roshan
•Remo D
Famous DancersSome of the famous bhangra dancers or performers are:
•Gurdeep •Pandher
•Bally Sagoo
•Aman Hayer 
Some of the famous and popular Bollywood dancers or artists are:
•Madhuri Dixit
•Tiger Shroff 
•Hrithik Roshan
•Remo D

What is Bhangra?

Bhangra is a Punjabi cultural folk dance form that originated in the Sialkot area of Punjab. It was introduced by several Muslim and Sikh farmers in the 1940s. The dance is mainly performed in certain parts of India and Pakistan.

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The dance is performed to celebrate the harvesting festival. The festival is named Vaisakhi (celebration of the harvested crops).

It is tagged or labelled as the new year of Punjab. Bhangra is a vital dance that celebrates the welcome of a new harvesting season. Bhangra dancers perform leaps, kicks, and jumps with their hands in the air to express joy and celebrate the event with enthusiasm.

The performance takes place on traditional Punjabi songs called Bolivian and Loriyaan. Their energy and enthusiasm remain unmatched.

The traditional attire or costume of the bhangra dance performance is:

  • For men – Male dancers wear turbans (vibrant coloured), Chandra, and lungis. 
  • For women – Female dancers wear salwar kameez. The salwar is a long and baggy pant while on the other hand, the kameez is a long colourful shirt.

Given below is the list of names of famous and talented bhangra dancers/ performers:

  • Jassi Premi Jass
  • Jasbir Jassi
  • Sukhshinder Shinda
  • Jagmohan Kaur 
  • Inderjit Nikku

What is Bollywood?

Bollywood is a fusion of several dance styles. It mixes jazz, hip-hop, Arabic, contemporary, salsa, tango, kathak, etc. The Bollywood dance style originated in Mumbai in the 30th century. They are performed in several Bollywood movies.

The dance is performed by the principal dancers, who a group of background dancers accompanies. Their costumes are different and vary according to the performance. Their costumes could be any of the following:

  • Female Bollywood dancers could wear a sari, skirt (long or short), frocks, gowns, or ethnic dresses.
  • For men – Male Bollywood performers could either wrap a lungi, dhoti, or casual clothing. 
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Some of the famous Bollywood dancers are:

  • Hrithik Roshan
  • Madhuri Dixit
  • Prabhu Deva
  • Nora Fatehi
  • Katerina Kaif 

Bollywood dance style got its name from both Bombay and Hollywood. It fuses both classical and western moves. Initially, the dance style focused more on classic dance steps (like Kathak and Bharatanatyam), but the focus gradually turned to Western dance moves.

Bollywood dances require performers to change their location and costumes between dance performances. They have a fusion of several different cultures. The dance style is influenced by Western culture.

bollywood dance 1

Main Differences Between Bhangra and Bollywood

  1. The performers dance in a circle with drums and beat in bhangra, whereas in the case of Bollywood, the main dancers dance with a group of background dancers.
  2. Bhangra is a folk dance, while on the other hand, Bollywood is a fusion of folk dance, western dance, and classical dance.
  3. Bhangra is performed in various auspicious events and festivals, while on the other hand, Bollywood dance is performed in Bollywood movies.
  4. Bhangra performers dance to Punjabi boliyaan and loriyaan, whereas Bollywood dance performers dance to several Bollywood songs.
  5. Bhangra was created by Muslim and Sikh farmers while on the other hand, Bollywood was created by Hindus. 
Difference Between Bhangra and Bollywood

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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14 thoughts on “Bhangra vs Bollywood: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Ironic that Bhangra and Bollywood originate from regions of dispute and conflict, but they are the root of India’s diverse art culture

  2. This post is very informative and can be important for those learning about Indian culture. The differences between both dances are very well explained. However, the title does not seem to match the content of the post

    • I agree with you Stefan Palmer, I was hoping to see more detail about the traditional and classical aspects of Bollywood dance and how the fusion with other dance styles occurred, which does not happen

    • I disagree, I think the criterion of comparison was well detailed enough for the reader to understand and differentiate the concepts.

    • I agree, It would be really nice to see the comparison criterion further detailed to further distinguish the differences and similarities between both dance styles.

  3. The content of this post is amazing, but I think that the section that comments on the significance of the dances could be better explored.

  4. This is a very complete and comprehensive explanation of the differences between Bhangra and Bollywood, It’s very easy to understand, you did very good research. I appreciate that the most famous dancers and the attire are mentioned. I think the only important thing that is missing is a brief mention of the history of Bollywood and Bhangra.

    • I agree with you, Ellie22. The content is really good and informative but we could have a brief historical overview. It would make this post perfect.


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